Academic Jobs Wiki

For Music Theory and Composition jobs that begin in Fall 2015.

Next year's page: Music Theory/Composition 2016-17

Last year's page: Music Theory/Composition

See Also: Musicology/Ethnomusicology 2014-15

RECENT ACTIVITY on Music Theory/Composition Wiki[]

Recent Edits

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Composition Only[]

Berklee College of Music - (Review begins 10/31)

  • Skype interviews scheduled
  • Offer made
  • Offer accepted (Gabriele Vanoni, Harvard 2013, Lecturer at Dartmouth College)

Berklee College of Music (review begins 4/24) Assistant Chair of the Composition Department

  • Skype interviews scheduled (2)
  • Rejection call received (posted 6/9)

Cardiff University (deadline 5/19) Lecturer in Music Composition

  • Rejection email (6/1/15)
  • Job accepted (Pedro Faria Gomes)

Eastman School of Music - (senior position, review begins Nov. 21)

  • (1/7) Finalists Chosen
  • (4/22) Oliver Schneller (Columbia, 2002)

Harvard University (no deadline listed, posted 6/2/15) Lecturer on Music (Spring 2016 semester only)

Northeastern University Professor and Chair of the Department of Music

  • (4/15) On-campus interviews
  • Daniel S. Godfrey (Yale, Iowa.  Long-time professor at Syracuse)

Northwestern University - (senior position)

Oberlin College Conservatory - Professor of Composition (senior position)

  • (3/9/2015) Stephen Hartke

Shenandoah Conservatory - Director of Composition and New Music Coordinator (Open Rank)

  • Posted February 13th, open until filled. 
  • Anyone have any information on this job?
  • (5/18) Jonathan Newman

Tufts University  - One-year lecturer in Composition (non-renewable, PT)

  • Review starting in May
  • Campus Interviews (x3) scheduled

University of Alabama - Assistant Professor of Composition

  • Posts on Facebook indicate that an offer has been made to an inside candidate.
  • (2/7) How trustworthy is a statement like the one above? In my opinion, this section of this page should be reserved for communication that comes directly from search committees. Has anyone heard directly from the committee?
  • (2/14) Additional materials requested.
  • (3/2) Skype interview scheduled.
  • (3/31) Campus interviews scheduled

University of Kansas - (review begins Nov. 10) Assistant Professor

  • Additional materials requested
  • Skype interviews scheduled for week of 12/15
  • Campus interviews scheduled for weeks of 1/26 & 2/2
  • Job accepted (Ingrid Stölzel)

University of Montana - Assistant Professor of Composition

  • E-mail from SC informing me I am "still in consideration" and that they are hoping deliberations will move quickly. (x2)
  • Phone interviews scheduled
  • Campus interview?
  • Job accepted (Emilie LeBel, University of Toronto, 2013)

University of Nottingham (UK) - (deadline 4/28) Assistant Professor in Music Composition

  • Email rejection (5/5)
  • Job accepted (Elizabeth Kelly)

Williams College - (inside candidate? There was a VAP position last year...) **see below

  • (12/3) Additional material requested
  • Any updates since additional materials submitted?
  • My wild bet: no one will be hired
  • Job accepted (Zachary Wadsworth, Cornell University 2012)

Theory Only[]

Appalachian State University (deadline 12/15) Instructor, Assistant Prof., or Associate Prof. of Music Theory

  • (1/16) Additional materials requested
  • (1/28) Campus interviews
  • (3/3) Job accepted (Greg McCandless, FSU 2010, Dept Chair at Full Sail University)

Arizona State University (deadline 12/20) Assistant Professor of Music Theory

  • (12/28) Skype interview scheduled
  • (2/28) Campus interviews scheduled
  • (4/7) Job offered
  • Job accepted (Laura Emmery, UC Santa Barbara 2014, VAP Emory University)

Baldwin Wallace University (review begins 10/1) Assistant Professor of Music Theory

  • (1/27) Contact to let me know not all my letters were in
  • (2/10) Additional materials requested
  • (3/19) Campus interviews being scheduled. (x 2)  (They are skipping phone interviews since it already so late.)
  • I'm hoping to get a read on how many people have been invited to campus interviews at BW. Others might want to know as well. I'm one. Anyone else want to share?
  • 4 candidates have been invited to campus
  • (4/25) Two hires have been made. Does anyone know who the winners are?
  • (4/30) One of them is Jessica Narum (UMN 2013, Assistant Professor at Concordia College)

Ball State University (posted 5/9/15, review begins immediately) Contract Position in Music Theory

  • (6/19) Any movement here?
  • Job Accepted (Jim Rhinehart, Ball State 2012)

Bates College (deadline Jan 15)

  • (2/6) Skype interviews
  • Campus interviews begun (2/27)
  • Job Accepted (Janet Bourne, Northwestern University Ph.D.)

Benedictine University (review begins May 2015) Instructor of Music Theory and Aural Skills (3/4 time)

  • (5/28) Any movement here?

Brigham Young University (deadline 12/1) Assistant Professor of Music Theory

  • (12/18) Skype interviews
  • (4/14) Job accepted (Brent Yorgason, Indiana--current Associate Prof at Marietta College)

Bunker Hill Community College (deadline 2/15) F/T TT Faculty: Music-Creative Arts Department (teaching theory, musicianship, and applied music)

  • (4/2) Request for campus interview
  • (4/4) Wondering how many other wiki readers may have been invited for an interview. Discussion on another CC thread seemed to suggest that CCs will do 2 rounds of interviews, so this may be a "semi-finalist" round and finalists may then be expected to fly in a second time. None of my references indicated that they had been contacted and one seemed surprised when I mentioned the invitation to him, suggesting that he was unaware that I had applied in the first place. (And, I would think, references would be contacted before making a decision about finalists.) At any rate, the HR person with whom I've been corresponding has been lovely and helpful, the location is excellent, and I have connections in the area, so I am looking forward to the visit.
  • (4/9) Rejection email received.
  • Any news?
  • (5/11) Not yet. I am not expecting any for awhile. They effectively condensed 2 rounds of interviews into one for the out-of-area candidates (myself included) so we wouldn't have to fly in again if we advanced. So I'm assuming they are doing the 2nd round of interviews with the local candidates now. Everything went well, I think, and the people I met were lovely, but of course I won't get my hopes up until I actually hear something.
  • (6/5) Rejection Email Received....looks like the list of people that they didn't invite for interviews all got reject emails. If you were interviewed, they might need your name on your long list, due to the late time of the year. 
  • (6/7) To the above poster, I think you are correct. I have not heard anything and am probably on the "long list." I personally know 2 people who received rejections in the past couple of days.
  • (6/11) Got my rejection today. Looks like I was too far down the long list and they found someone. Who got this job? Anyone? Bueller?
  • There is no requirement to announce who was hired.

Butler University (Deadline: 10 June 2015) Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Theory (3 years)

Catholic University of America (deadline 2/16) Assistant Professor of Music Theory (sub-specialty in winds/brass)

  • Hiring to replace someone who is recently retired
  • No internal candidate 
  • (3/5) Additional materials requested
  • (3/11) Phone interview held. References contacted.
  • (3/19) References contacted
  • (4/27) SC chair said search is suspended.
  • (4/29) Email from dean states that search has been cancelled for budgetary reasons.

Cardiff University (deadline 5/19) Lecturer in Music

  • This is from their website:
    • Eligibility normally applies if:
      • you are a citizen of the UK or other country in the European Economic Area (EEA) or a Swiss national
      • you currently hold Tier 1 status
      • you are a dependant, spouse or civil partner of a UK or EEA national or an individual who has an existing right to work in the UK
      • you have been granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK
      • you have a valid student visa.
    • The University will not offer a Certificate of Sponsorship for a post where a candidate from the UK or EEA meets the essential criteria for the post and is available and eligible to take up the role.

College of Wooster (deadline 1/7) Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Theory (one-year position)

  • (1/26) Skype interviews
  • (2/7) Campus interview scheduled
  • (As of 3/4) Job offered (Abby Shupe)
  • Abby Shupe renewed her previous 1-year contract for 2015-2016.
  • Jonathan Guez (Yale University) accepted this job.

Concondia College (Moorhead, MN) (Deadline 6/26/15) Instructor/Assistant Professor of Music Theory

  • Skype interviews

DePauw University (deadline 3/27) Assistant Professor of Music Theory (1-year)

  • (4/10) Campus interview scheduled
  • (4/30) Rejection email received, position filled.
  • Job accepted (Jennifer M. Smith, FSU 2012, Lecturer at University of Massachusetts Amherst)

Duke University (deadline 11/15) Assistant Professor of Music Theory

  • (1/15) Campus interviews
  • (2/26) Email received stating an offer had been made and accepted.
  • (2/26) Job accepted (Nicholas Stoia, CUNY 2008)

Duquesne University (review began 5/1/15) Visiting Assistant Professor/Instructor of Music in the Department of Musicianship

  • (6/1) Offer made
  • (6/3) Offer accepted

Eastman School of Music (deadline 11/1) Assistant Professor of Music Theory

  • (11/5) 10-minute interview at SMT scheduled (x3)
  • (11/23) Campus interview scheduled
  • (12/27) Job accepted (Zachary Bernstein, CUNY ABD; Instructor at University of Alabama)

Florida State University (deadline 10/15) Assistant Professor of Music Theory

  • (10/23) Campus interview scheduled
  • (12/10) Email received stating that the position has been filled.
  • (12/16) Job accepted (Mark Richards, Toronto 2011, Instructor at U. of Lethbridge)

Georgia State University (open until filled) Assistant Professor of Music Theory

  • (3/13) email received confirming the receipt of the application
  • (4/13) campus interviews
  • (5/5) I'm a bit confused. This ad just got posted to SMT-announce (and to MTO) a few days ago, but the deadline was 5/1 according to the ad. Is this a mistake? Perhaps the deadline should read June 1? Can anyone comment?
  • (5/7) E-mail received stating the position has been filled (Gilad Rabinovitch, Eastman ABD).

Howard Payne University (TX) (open until filled) Assistant/Associate Professor of Music in Music Theory

  • Any information about this? 

Humboldt State University (review begins 4/20) Music Theory & Ear Training Visiting Faculty Position

  • (5/5) Additional  materials  requested  
  • (5/20) Phone interview scheduled
  • (5/29) Job accepted (Elizabeth Medina-Gray, Yale 2014, Oberlin VAP)

Indiana University (review begins 11/15) Post-doctoral resident scholar (two-year, non-TT appointment)

  • (12/1) Additional materials requested (x3)
  • (1/13) Skype interview scheduled for the week of 1/19 (x2)
  • (2/12) Campus interviews scheduled
  • (3/25) Job accepted (Mike Cheng-Yu Lee, Cornell), congratulations!

James Madison University (deadline 11/15) Assistant Professor of Music Theory (inside candidate? see below)

  • (12/8) Phone interviews
  • (12/19) Campus interview scheduled
  • (2/11) Job accepted (John Peterson, FSU 2014, VAP JMU)

Knox College (deadline 4/15) Visiting Instructor/Assistant Professor-Music Theory

  • (4/30) Any movement here? I realize it's only been 1/2 a month since apps were due, but it's getting late in the year...
  • (4/30) Phone interviews started
  • (5/23) Job accepted (Gabriel Lubell, Indiana Composition DM 2013, IU adjunct posts)

Lawrence University (deadline 4/15) Full-time Visiting Faculty Position in Music Theory (one-year)

  • (4/17) Skype interview scheduled
  • (4/25) Campus interview scheduled
  • (5/8) Skype interview held and campus interview scheduled
  • (5/27) Job accepted

Loyola University-Maryland (review begins 4/7) Visiting Affiliate Assistant Professor, Fine Arts (1-year sabbatical replacement to teach Music Fundamentals and Class Piano)

Ohio University Asst./Assoc. Prof. and Chair of Music Theory

  • (2/11) Skype interviews
  • (3/24) Job accepted (Ciro Scotto, University of Washington 1995, University of South Florida)

Peabody Conservatory (deadline 10/31) Full-time Continuing Faculty of Ear Training

  • (12/2) Skype interview scheduled for the week of 12/15
  • Campus interviews in Jan/Feb
  • (3/20) Job accepted (Jenine Lawson Brown, Eastman 2014, adjunct posts)

Sibelius Academy (University of the Arts Helsinki) (deadline 1/5) Lecturer in Music Theory

  • (2/24) Campus/video interviews held
  • Any news?
  • (3/31) Job accepted (Andreas Metz, Indiana University 2014, Baldwin-Wallce University)

Southern Oregon University (deadline 4/6) Temporary Assistant Professor of Applied Music (Music Theory)

  • (4/18) Skype interviews

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (review begins immediately) Full-time position in Music Theory

  • (4/8) Campus interview scheduled
  • (5/8) Job accepted (Nathan Burggraff, Eastman 2015)

Stetson University (review begins 9/15) Assistant Professor of Music Theory

  • (10/18) Skype interviews scheduled for the week of 10/20
  • (10/29) Campus interview scheduled
  • (1/16) Campus interview scheduled
  • (3/31) Job accepted (Peter Smucker, U CHICAGO ABD, Adjunct at University of Notre Dame)

Temple University (review begins 11/3) Assistant Professor of Music Theory

• I emailed Michael Klein to inform him that I have a defense date for my dissertation in hopes that it would help my case. He wrote back (quite nicely) to let me know that they have already settled on 3 finalists. Those of us who have not heard from Temple are probably "out."

Job accepted (3/27)

  • (5/15) Any update on who got this job? Just out of curiosity!

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (deadline 7/24/15) Visiting Assistant Professor, Music Theory

  • (8/13) Job accepted (Ryan Woodhouse, University of Kansas 2012)

Texas A&M University-Kingsville (Open until filled, posted 7/6) Lecturer of Music Theory/Ear-Training (full-time)

  • (8/7) Job accepted (Gillian Robertson, Florida State University 2015)

Texas A&M University-Kingsville (Open until filled, posted 6/29) Lecturer of Music Theory/Ear-Training (part-time)

University of Alabama (deadline 6/1) Instructor of Music Theory

  • (6/19) Skype interviews

University of Arizona (open until filled) Assistant Professor of Music Theory

  • (12/16) Additional materials requested
  • (3/5) Campus interviews completed
  • As of 3/10 Job offered
  • (3/10) Job accepted (John Muniz, Yale 2015)

University of California, Berkeley (deadline 12/1/14) Lecturer of Musicianship

• (2/12) Email inquiry regarding availability for March campus visit

• (2/23) Campus interview scheduled

  • Where was this job posted? [(2/23) A: It was posted on HigherEdJobs.]
  • (7/30) Job Accepted (Matthew Hough, Manhattan School of Music 2012)

University of Central Florida (review begins 1/23/15) Assistant Professor of Music Theory

Why was the "review begins" date changed?  The ad at this link still lists Jan. 9 as the "review begins" date.

Not sure why, but the posting appeared on with the new date, and the chair confirmed that it is now the correct date.

• (2/15) Additional material (teaching video) requested

• (3/19) Three finalists chosen

  • (5/7) Job Accepted (Brian Hoffman, CCM 2011; VAP Butler University)

University of Chicago (deadline 3/31/15) Lecturer in Music Theory

  • (4/13) Additional material (teaching video) requested
  • (4/27) Campus interview scheduled
  • (5/18) Offer made and accepted; paperwork still being processed
  • (6/19) Job accepted (Nancy Murphy, University of British Columbia ABD)
  • Were rejection letters received, and if so, when? 

University of Florida (deadline 4/22) Visiting Assistant Professor in Music Theory

  • (4/27) Request to contact references
  • Any news since references contacted?
  • (5/5) Request for teaching video; interviews scheduled
  • (5/25) Offer made and accepted

University of Lethbridge (deadline 1/31/15) Assistant Professor of Music Theory

  • (2/24) Skype interview scheduled
  • (2/27) Campus interview scheduled
  • (3/23) Job accepted (Bryn Hughes, Florida State 2011; University of Miami)

University of Massachusetts Amherst (deadline 11/14) Assistant Professor of Music Theory

  • (12/15) ShortList Made
  • (12/19) Skype interviews
  • (1/29) Campus interviews
  • (2/13) Interviews concluded
  • (3/18) Offer made
  • (4/10) Job accepted (Christopher William White, Yale, UNC-Greensboro)

University of Massachusetts Lowell (review begins immediately) Assistant Professor, Musicianship

  • (4/28) Job accepted (Garrett Michaelsen, INDIANA 2013, Lecturer at University of Massachusetts Lowell)

University of Michigan (deadline 10/15) Assistant Professor of Music Theory

  • (11/26) Additional Materials
  • (1/15) Campus interview scheduled
  • (4/2) All right, we know that 2 offers were made and accepted--who are the winners?
  • (4/2) Nathan Martin (McGILL 2009, Yale/KU Leuven) and Rene Rusch (MICHIGAN 2008, McGill)

University of Minnesota (Deadline: 6/10/15) Instructor in Music Theory

  • Skype interviews

University of Missouri Columbia, Assistant Teaching Professor of Music Theory

  • (6/5) Job accepted (Scott Schumann, Texas 2015)

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Lecturer in Music Theory

  • (4/6) Interviews scheduled
  • (4/10) Offer made. 
  • Job accepted (Cora S. Palfy, Northwestern Ph.D.)

University of North Carolina at Greensboro (review begins 2/15) Lecturer in Music Theory and Ethnomusicology

  • (4/12) Skype interviews held on 3/30 and 4/6
  • Campus visit?
  • (5/12) I heard from Adam Ricci when I withdrew from this search (I got another position). Apparently the search has been slowed significantly by HR procedures, but the committee has a candidate in mind (it wasn't me).

University of Nebraska-Kearney (deadline 3/30) Assistant Professor of Low Brass/Music Theory

  • Anything?

University of Oregon (deadline 10/15) Assistant Professor of Music Theory

  • (10/31) Interview at SMT scheduled (outside of the posted Friday afternoon time slots, for which I was on a waitlist)
  • (11/12) Additional materials requested
  • (12/3) Skype interviews scheduled
  • (12/12) Campus interviews
  • (3/4) Job accepted (Drew Nobile, CUNY 2014; Lecturer at University of Chicago)
  • Some might be interested to know... According to an official email, there were 141 applicants for this job.

University of Utah (review begins immediately, apply before 5/15/15 for full consideration) Visiting Assistant Professor in Music Theory

  • The job description says that this is a 4/4 teaching position. Is this typical for non-tenure track positions?
  • Yup.... good luck....
  • I'm curious as to how many people might have applied for this job. There wasn't a lot of time between the posting date and the close date. 
  • (5/19) Additional materials requested
  • Any further motion on this position? 
  • Apparently, interviews are happening. (6/9) I imagine that the last round interview is this week. 
  • (7/30) Job accepted (Luke Dahn, University of Iowa 2006; and Inès Thibaut, CUNY)

West Virginia University (review begins 12/1) Assistant Professor of Music Theory

  • (1/22) Phone Interviews Scheduled with School of Music Director
  • (1/23) Phone Interviews with the search committee scheduled for 27 January
  • (2/13) Campus Interviews Scheduled
  • (3/18) Position offered and accepted.

William Paterson University (open until filled) Assistant Professor of Music Theory

  • Application acknowledged via email. Said review would begin with start of semester.
  • (3/6) Phone interviews scheduled for 3/9 & 3/10
  • Any updates on this?
  • (3/19) Campus Interviews Scheduled
  • Updates?
  • (5/19) Rejection phone call received (presumably an offer was made?)

Williams College (deadline 2/9) Visiting Assistant Professor in Music Theory (one-year appointment) (teaching includes music history courses for the general student)

  • (3/4) Campus Interview Scheduled 
  • (3/25) Job accepted (Joan Huguet, Eastman 2015) 

Composition, Theory, Etc.[]

Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (deadline 5/1/15) Assistant Professor of Piano and Theory

American University (review beings immediately) Term Faculty Position in Music Theory/Composition

  • (6/29) On-campus interviews

Ave Maria University (Open until filled, posted 6/19) Two Full-time Faculty Positions in Music Theory/Musicianship/Choral Direction and/or Applied Voice

Beloit College (Deadline October 15, 2015) Assistant/Associate Professor of Composition/Sound Studies

Bowie State University (Deadline: 7/7/15) Assistant Professor of Music, tenure-track (General Music/Music Theory/Music Ed/Voice)

Brown University (review begins 10/03) Assistant Professor of Composition-Theory

  • Additional material (x2)
  • (2/5) Campus interviews scheduled
  • (3/22) Job accepted (Eric Nathan, Cornell Univ. 2012, VAP Williams College)
  • (4/2) Rejection letter received stating that a second offer was made. Any info?
  • (4/15) Wang Lu (Columbia DMA)

Centralia College (WA) (review begins 2/1/15) Assistant Professor

  • (2/17) Additional materials requested
  • (3/7) Campus interviews scheduled
  • Offer?
  • I was told several weeks ago that an offer had been made and accepted.  Don't know to whom.

College of Idaho (review begins late November) Assistant Professor in Music Theory (includes teaching composition and technology)

  • Phone interviews
  • Campus interviews
  • (2/20) Email received that position has been filled. Does anyone know who it is?
  • (2/21) Job accepted (Andrew Gades, FSU 2013, VAP at College of Idaho)

Columbus State University (GA) (review begins 2/16/15) Assistant Professor of Music in Music Theory & Composition

  • (3/16) Contacted references.
  • (3/18) Phone interviews scheduled for 3/24.  Things are moving quickly.
  • (4/5) Campus Interviews underway.
  • (4/15) Position Accepted (James Ogburn, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh; Chair of Composition & Theory at Mahidol University College of Music [BKK], 2009-2015)

Elgin Community College (open until filled) Music Instructor (fulltime, tenure-track)

  • Updates?
  • (5/14) Request for phone interview
  • (7/1) Interested in hearing if anyone has done campus interviews or otherwise heard from this position. I've heard nothing and am assuming that means I am out of the game.
  • (8/10) according to the college's BOT meeting agenda, job accepted by Shawn Maxwell (Milliken University)

Gordon College Assistant/Associate Professor in Theory/Composition OR Piano

  • (1/5) Request for Additional Materials/Letters of Recommendation (x2)
  • (2/7) Video interviews scheduled
  • (2/16) Campus interview scheduled for March
  • Any updates?
  • They called off the search for a full-time position. Offer of a 0.5 position has been made.

Hamilton College (deadline 29 March 2015) 2-year Visiting Assistant Professor of Music (Theory/Composition/Digital Media)

  • (4/6) Campus interview scheduled
  • (5/8) Offer made and accepted (Ryan Carter, NYU 2014)

Harford Community College (non-tenure track, theory and music technology)

  • (5/4) Semi-finalist interviews concluded.

Houghton College (review begins immediately) TT Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Composition; Coordinator of Music Theory and Composition

  • (3/3) Any updats on this search?
  • (3/3) (2) I inquired at beginning of February. Administrative assistant said SC is reviewing apps, said she did not know when decisions would be made but guessed it would be "fairly soon." Been a month since.
  • (3/19) Rejection letter received.

Illinois State University (review begins Nov. 1) TT Assistant or Associate Professor of Music Theory and Composition

  • (11/20) Phone interviews
  • Campus visits scheduled
  • Offered made and accepted - Roy Magnuson

Ithaca College Lecturers in Music History/Theory/Composition

  • (4/3) I received an email back in February saying that they had fulfilled all their needs for the "2014-2015" year, but I wonder if that was a typo and they meant to tell me they had filled their slots for the 2015-2016 year. If that is the case...rejection received.

Kentucky State University (open until filled, posted 6/11) Assistant Professor (tenure track) of Music (Piano and Music Theory)

  • (6/11) The page linked contains what seems to be mostly generic information about what faculty across the University are expected to do. Is there a page somewhere with more specific required qualifications, preferred qualifications, etc.?

Laramie County Community College (Cheyenne, WY) (review begins 01/19/2015) Instructor, Music (full time)

  • (3/30) Phone interviews being scheduled
  • (4/8) Rejection email received

Loras College (review begins immediately) Assistant Professor of Music (Music Theory or Music History)

  • Offer Accepted (Luke Tyler, Ball State 2015)

Montana State University (posted 6/23, review begins immediately) Assistant Teaching Professor of Trumpet and Music Theory

Morehead State University (deadline 5/22) Assistant Professor of Music (Oboe and Music Theory)

Muhlenberg College Assoc. Prof. and Chair (teaching duties are in theory area)

  • (1/27) Rejection Letter received
  • Anyone have any information about this?

Murray State University (due 11/10) Assistant Prof. of Music Theory (but duties include teaching electronic composition)

  • (1/12) Phone Interviews being scheduled
  • (1/21) Campus interviews
  • Job offered and accepted

Nicholls State University (review begins 6/15/15) Instructor of Music Theory (or Music Education) and Applied Brass (High or Low)

Occidental College (review begins Nov. 10) TT Asst. Professor in Composition and Instrumental Music

  • Phone Interviews being scheduled
  • Campus visits being scheduled
  • Offer made and accepted (Adam Schoenberg)

Queens University of Charlotte (deadline 11/3) TT Assistant Prof. of Music (specialty open but teaching expertise in theory, aural skills, and analysis required)

  • (2/3) Request for phone interviews
  • (2/25) Campus Interviews
  • (4/2) Rejection email sent
  • (4/16) Any word on who was hired?
  • (4/17) Offer made and accepted (Zach Zubow, Ph.D. University of Iowa, 2012)

Southern Illinois University Carbondale  (deadline 11/17)  TT Assistant Prof of Music Theory and Composition

  • (12/6) Additional material requested
  • (2/9) Campus interviews scheduled for late February
  • (3/?) Offer made and accepted (Chris Walczak, Rice University D.M.A.)

Truman State University (deadline 3/16) TT Assistant Professor of Music - Theory and Composition

  • (3/23) Phone interviews being scheduled (x2)
  • (3/30) References contacted
  • (4/9) Campus visits being scheduled for semifinalists
  • (5/19) Rejection note received that search is closed
  • (5/27) Victor Marquez-Barrios (VAP St. Lawrence University)

University at Buffalo: Clinical Visiting Assistant Professor (Spring 2016-Spring 2017) (Deadline: Open until filled)Edit[]

  • The University at Buffalo Department of Music seeks to make a clinical term appointment for three semesters: spring 2016, fall 2016, spring 2017. The position carries a term, non-renewable contract for these semesters, with teaching load at four courses per semester.
  • We are searching for a highly effective and charismatic instructor of music history courses for undergraduate non-majors and music majors, as part of the comprehensive roll-out of the University at Buffalo's new general education program (The UB Curriculum). There are no research requirements for this clinical position, and Departmental and College service expectations will be minimal. Focus is on team-oriented contribution of high quality, high visibility music-historical instruction of large-enrollment classes of non-majors and majors. There will be significant teaching assistant-support for this position, with the successful candidate displaying clear evidence of excellent organizational and supervisory skills.
  • Minimum Qualifications: Master's Degree (or equivalent) in Music. Experience teaching at the college level.
  • Preferred Qualifications: PhD, DMA (or ABD) preferred. Demonstrable experience as a master teacher of the relevant subject areas and levels also preferred.
  • Salary Range: $45,000 - $47,000 annual
  • Special Instructions to Applicants: Applicants should submit a letter of application that specifically addresses teaching credentials, experience, and teaching philosophy; a resume; and a list of three references with email addresses and phone numbers. Short-listed candidates may be asked to provide video documentation of their teaching, along with samples of teaching materials.

Please submit application through the University at Buffalo’s Job Website at:

  • Contact's Name: Dr. Jeffrey Stadelman
  • Contact's Title: Chair, Music Department
  • External Posting Date: 11-03-2015
  • External Closing Date: Open Until Filled; review begins Nov. 18, 2015
  • Date to be Filled: January, 2016

University of Alaska-Fairbanks (Deadline: 26 June 2015) Term Lecturer of Music Theory (and Music History)

University of California, Irvine (review begins 11/1) Assistant Professor (Composition and Improvisation)

  • (12/1) Additional material requested (x2)
  • (1/15) Campus visit scheduled
  • (3/19) Rejection letter.
  • (3/29) Lukas Ligeti

University College CorkEdit  Professor of Creative Practice (Music/Theatre/Performance Studies)

University of Georgia (review begins 12/15) TT Assistant Professor (Composition plus Theory and/or Electro-Acoustic Composition) **See added details below

  • (1/20) Additional material (x4)
  • (2/5) Skype interviews scheduled
  • (2/14) Campus visit scheduled
  • (4/25) Jesse Jones
  • (4/25) Peter Van Zandt Lane

University of Huddersfield (UK) (deadline 5/18/15) Lecturer/Senior Lecturer of Popular Music

University of Idaho (deadline 5/5/15) Temporary Lecturer of Composition and Music Theory

University of Iowa Lecturer in Composition/Theory

  • (3/2) Additional materials
  • (4/30) Any movement on this job? 
  • (5/29) Rejection email received. 

University of Miami - Frost School of Music (deadline 12/15/2015). Assistant Professor of Practice in Music Theory

University of Notre Dame (review begins 11/15) Assistant Professor of Music Theory

  • (9/14) Application acknowledged via snail mail
  • (1/2/15) Any word on the progress of this search?
  • (1/15/15) I just got an email about additional material
  • (2/9/15) Skype Interviews.
  • (2/24/15) Campus Interviews.
  • (4/8/15) Offer accepted. (John Liberatore, Eastman 2014.  VAP at University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.)

University of Pittsburgh at Bradford (review begins 11/10) Assistant Professor, Music

  • (12/15) Phone interviews being scheduled for early January
  • (2/4) Campus visits scheduled for late February.
  • (4/1) Any updates?
  • (4/20) Offer accepted. (Joshua Groffman, Indiana DM, 2012)

University of South Florida (review begins 12/1), TT Assistant Prof. of Contemporary Critical Theory/Musicology

  • (1/20) Phone interview scheduled
  • (1/28) Additional Materials Requested
  • (2/24/15) Campus Interviews.

University of the District of Columbia (Open until filled, posted 6/23) Visiting Assistant/Associate Professor (Music Theory and Piano)

  • (7/17) Skype interview scheduled

University of Tulsa Assistant Professor of Composition and Theory

  • (2/11) skype interview scheduled
  • (3/19) Any updates?

Webster University (review begins 10/15) Assistant Professor of Music (Music Theory & Composition)

  • (10/30) Phone interviews
  • (11/29) Rejection letter received including announcement that the job was accepted by Dr. David Werfelmann (USC Thornton School)

Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, National University of Singapore (deadlines 4/30/15 and 7/15/15) Music Theory / Composition (multiple positions)


Art Institute of CA-San Diego Part-time audio faculty

Clark University - Visiting Instructor or Visiting Assistant Professor (possibility of renewal), Composition (with expertise in Music Technology) (review began 4/13)

  • On-campus interviews scheduled for 4/28-5/1
  • (5/24) Sundar Subramanian (SUNY Buffalo, 2011)

Colorado College (review begins 10/10) Assistant Professor of Music Technology (tenure-track)

  • (11/26) Extra materials requested
  • (12/16) Email received from Banagale, stating what we knew: they have contacted those that they are interested in.
  • (1/19) Email requesting to schedule a Skype interview
  • (1/23) Campus visit scheduled
  • (3/15) Any news?
  • (4/3) Not that I've heard. How long is standard for this type of job, do you think?
  • (4/8) There's some more info on this posted on the Ethno/Musicology wiki site today.
  • (5/13) Jeff Treviño(UCSD)

Full Sail University (Open until filled) Associate Course Director - Advanced Composition Programming

Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)  (deadline: January 15th, 2015) Assistant Professor in Music Technology

  • (1/28) Extra materials requested
  • (2/19) Skype interview scheduled
  • (3/16) Campus visit scheduled
  • ?

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT ) (deadline: November 1, 2014), Music and Theater Arts Section, Assistant Professor of Music (tenure track), Music Technology specialization 

  • (12/15) Short list made
  • (2/3) Campus visit scheduled
  • Offer made and accepted (By whom??? Can't one just write down the name???)
  • Nobody, including members of the search committee or anyone posting on this wiki, is required to answer your questions.  You didn't get the job.  Move on.  
  • Nobody entitled you to lecture - having a bad headache?
  • (5/15) I would add that it's helpful to know who has procured which jobs even for those of us who didn't apply to this position. There's no way in Sam Hill I would've been qualified for this particular position, which is why I didn't waste anyone's time by applying, but I would still like to know as well, just to see which schools are getting their students into jobs.
  • (5/15) I agree that it is helpful to know. But: (1) I personally would not want my name on this wiki--my name has in fact appeared on it, and I am embarrassed by some of the behavior I have seen here, and (2) It is presumptuous to believe that the name of a school precedes the value/potential of the candidate chosen, not to mention it skirts many factors that go into the decision-making process that are impossible to quantify. I would rather see NO NAMES here.

McGill University (deadline: 30 March 2015) Postdoctoral Fellow in Music Information Retrieval

Marlboro College (Deadline: April 6, 2015) Mellon Teaching Fellow in Digital Media (1 semester only)

Prairie State College Assistant Professor of Music Production

Salem State University Assistant Professor of Music Production and Technology

  • (2/24) Skype Interviews have occured
  • (4/2?) References contacted
  • Job accepted

San Francisco State University Tenure-track faculty in composition/technology

  • (3/4)Skype Interview
  • (3/20) Campus visit scheduled
  • Any news?
  • (6/15) Ben Sabey (UCSD)

Santa Clara University (deadline 5/5) Academic Year Adjunct Lecturer- Music (Composition and Electronic Music)

Stevens Institute of Technology Assistant Professor of Music and Technology

  • (2/24) Phone interviews have occurred
  • (3/3) Any updates since the phone interviews?
  • (3/6) Contacted listed references to ask for written recommendations
  • Campus interviews in late March/early April
  • (5/25) Seth Cluett (Princeton)

Texas Christian University (review begins 10/15) Assistant Professor of Music Technology (in the division of Theory/Composition)

  • (10/27) First short-list made; e-mailed for permission to contact references.
  • (1/3/15) Anybody have any updated info on this?
  • (1/17) Campus interviews have occured.
  • (2/25) Rejection e-mail received; offer made and accepted (Neil Anderson-Himmelspach, FSU)

University of California, San Diego (deadline: November 15, 2014) Assistant Professor of Composition/Computer Muisc

  • (1/7/15) Additional materials requested
  • (1/15/15) Skype interviews scheduled
  • (2/14/15) On campus interviews scheduled
  • (5/10/15) Natacha Diels (Columbia)

University of the Incarnate Word Part-time instructor in music theory and/or Electroacoustic music

  • (7/13/15) Position deleted from Higher Ed Jobs last year (11/10/2014)

University of Michigan Assistant Professor in Performing Arts Technology

  • (2/12/15) Phone interview scheduled
  • Any updates?

University of Surrey (deadline 7/14/15) Teaching Fellow in Music and Creative Music Technology

Yale University   Assistant Professor (Adjunct) of Composition, Technology, and Media (3-year contract - expires Jan 18 - another search opened for less than a month... apply guys/gals!)

  • (2/10/15) Additional materials requested
  • As of 4/11/15 - On campus interviews performed/ongoing?

Years on the Market After Ph.D. or DMA:[]

0-1: 8

2-3: 5

4-5: 3, but this isn't my first TT job.

6-7: 4


10 or more: 

Kind of a vague question... Years until what sort of job? Adjunct? TT? TT that you really like?

Let's say years on the market looking for a TT.


NB: Many schools are in need of updates. Please do not hesitate to post if you have been asked for more materials, been asked to campus, or even if you know second-hand the goings-on in some of these searches. (For instance, several of the November-deadline schools remain uncommented upon; at least some of them must have updates.) If you know something, say something! Scratch the wiki's back– it will scratch yours.

12/23: that sounds freighteningly like the NYPD's "if you see something, say something" (sorry, couldn't resist)

1/6: Yes this still needs some serious updating.  Also, I've seen some jobs have been posted on or before the deadline for submission of materials...  We all have access to the same sources (Chronicle, CMS, etc.) but it's a shame to see this Wikia become less reliable than it has been before.

1/8: Could it be that there is simply no movement on most of these searches? Twice I have been notified that I have advanced to the second round, and both times the position status was immediately updated on this site by someone else.

1/11: Yes, it could be that.  We should all remember that search committees are made up of full-time faculty members, and it's entirely possible that those faculty members may have had their plates full in December.  If they didn't have time to meet before the end of the fall semester, it's unlikely that they would meet over winter break (and many schools have not started back yet).  

1/15: Yes, it's a busy time. In addition to getting ready for classes and working on conference proposals (many of which are due today), faculty at schools with graduate programs are also reading MA and PhD applications.


4/21: I'm curious if a 1-2yr VAP job offer typically includes relocation costs, and if negotiation of a salary offer is possible/appropriate? 

4/22: I believe it's not typical, though not unprecedented, for VAP positions to include relocation.  It varies depending on the size of the school.  My first job out of grad school was a VAP, and I didn't get a stipend (though I did ask!).  I always feel uneasy when it comes time to negotiate on salary etc., but I know that one should never be ashamed to ask for more.  It's very reasonable; the expenses of relocating are not proportionate to the term of appointment.  Probably, you won't get anything, but they certainly won't pull the offer because you ask about relocation!

4/23: Every VAP job I had, I got relocation costs. The TT job I have, I did not. Depends on the school and/or state.

Community College Jobs

1/22: I hear rumors that PhD's have a really hard time competing for community college level appointments... Can someone comment on that? I understand there are different, often generalized, teaching responsibilities, and perhaps there is a tendency to avoid "specialists," but when I think back to when I reached the Master's level of my education.. I know I'm better poised now for a generalist position... Is there something to this rumor that I am missing? 1/22(2): I've been a finalist for many 4-yr jobs and CC jobs, and from my experience, I don't believe that's true. It depends on the candidate's background: where and what you taught, not necessarily which degree you have. Just because you have a doctorate, doesn't mean they'll view you as a specialist. Many small departments (1-5 full time) avoid "specialists"--not just CC, but 4-year schools too--and community colleges typically have small music departments. In fact, many times there are humanities or arts departments with a music "area." Some CC job descriptions will say they prefer the terminal degree. Another thing to consider why there may seem like a small percentage of interview requests is that CC jobs often do not pay for the candiates' travel costs (or if they do, it's $200-$700 max), so some times they won't look on a national market. 

1/30: I've gotten to semifinalist (14x) and finalist (4x) at state schools, liberal arts colleges, large universities, and conservatories. But I've never made even the second round with CC jobs (or jobs in rural areas). I'm an interdisciplinary scholar, so I suspect it is because my PhD is from a large research university.

3/12: Like 1/30, I've had interviews at diverse institutions, but NEVER made the first cut at CC. I just received a polite rejection email from a CC job and it has me wondering the same as the 1/22 poster... The department has 13 faculty members. Only 2 have PhD/DMA degrees. Most of the faculty are educated from very-nearby colleges. I'm not trying to say that I should have gotten an interview--I am at peace with what is left on my list. But when I look at the present faculty, I wonder: Did they gain their jobs in a national search? Do they "fit" better than someone like me? I too am baffled by CC search committees.

3/12 (2): As the old axiom goes, the candidate needs to find the right institution and vice versa.  CC gigs often have all-consuming teaching loads that leave little to no time for research or other activity in the field.  In fact, contributions to the field are often not valued as highly as they would be at large Univerisities; administrators at such institutions are often more impressed by community outreach than a national reputation.  Someone who really wants a Univerity gig but is willing to "settle" for a CC gig is really a liabilty that many conducting a CC search want to avoid; they don't want someone who is waiting for the real deal to come along.  It often safe to assume that someone who gets a PhD from a major conservatory does not aspire first and foremost to teach at a CC.  Instead, a person with ties to the community in which the college is based may be seen as more likely to have a positive impact on the school and its relationship with the community.  As a bit of speculation, this may be less the case with CCs that are based in large metropolitan areas -- places where a highly active musical community makes such jobs nationally competitive. 

3/29: I have been wondering about this too. My skill set, I would think, makes me very attractive to CCs who need instructors competent in multiple areas and who genuinely enjoy teaching more than researching. However, I have had no bites. Part of this could be that I do not yet have a PhD, but I actually thought that might be an advantage (in their eyes) because hiring a PhD could be more expensive for them.

General Music Jobs

1/13: Some jobs listed here are for music generalists -- places that want people with degrees in any field of music who can teach liberal arts courses including theory, history, popular music, choral conducting, etc.  Is there a separate wiki for these?  Perhaps there should be.  Not simply to make this wiki more specific (many people looking for jobs here could probably fill such a position), but moreso so as not to exclude positions like the one described above from people looking for liberal arts jobs.


3/31: It's about that time of year again. Anyone receive news on their proposals for the 2015 national conference?

3/31(b): Nothing yet. Last few years, responses were around the first full week of April. My 2013 notification was April 4. I somehow have misplaced my other decisions from previous years, but I recall them being in the 4/4-4/10 range. I suspect people will start hearing some time next week.

4/8: Paper accepted for SMT 2015.

The Big Five

3/31: Here's a conversation we should be having: does anyone else find it concerning that the vast majority of theory jobs go to candidates from five schools: Eastman, Yale, CUNY, Florida State, and Indiana? That kind of consolidation scares me: it's a kind of music theory 1%, leaves little room for graduates from other institutions, is not reflected in musicology/comp/ethno, and parallels broader social/economic/employment consolidations. I don't think it's good for music theory as a discipline. And I wonder what the Society is/could be doing about it.

3/31: Its a worthwhile conversation, for sure, and an issue about which I have mixed feelings. My perception, and perhaps I'm wrong, is that while this 1%-ism does exist in our field, for sure, it may be less acute than in certain other fields. (Of course, it would be nice if we could all be evaluated on the quality of our work alone...but with things as they are, I think quantity of work often outweights quality, but that's a separate discussion....). Anyhow, Michigan also seems to place a lot of candidates as well, so maybe it should be The Big Six...?

3/31(c): This definitely exists. I think there are several reasons for it. If a school gets 100+ applicants, it's one way a program committee can reduce the stack. I'm certainly not in favor of this, but I certainly know it happens. Second, a lot of these schools (especially Eastman, Florida State, and Indiana) have huge alumni networks. If a faculty member from a different field (say flute for example) is on the selection committee, they may so preference to someone from their alma mater because they can attest to the program. As far as what the Society should do for that? I'm not too sure. This is really beyond the Society's control and it's up to the selection committees at these institutions. If the Society were to have any large influence on the selection process, I suppose we would actually see some women hires at the big name schools in the northeast.

4/1: Or some women hires in any of the research positions. These positions this year--Michigan, Oregon, FSU, two at Eastman, IU's postdoc--were all offered to men. Those that accepted these offers are good music theorists, but it does seem strange that 0/6 of the top hires were women. 

4/1(b): I definitely agree. I do think though think it is important to point out that Michigan and IU both recently had prominent hires of women (Aine Heneghan at Mich and Daphne Tan at IU).

4/1(c): Who got the Michigan theory job?    

Two offers were made at Michigan.  One was to a woman.

4/2: Indeed, two offers were made, one to a man and one to a woman. It's also worth noting that half of the theory faculty at Michigan are women (5 women and 5 men before the hires, now 6 and 6).

4/3: It's interesting to me that FSU is being talked about as a "Big 5" theory program. In 2008, when I was applying for doctoral programs, I put FSU down as my "safety school." I got in but chose a different program (I'd rather not say where). The program I chose now has several PhD grads who are either unemployed (at least in the field) or underemployed (meaning they are in the field, but not yet TT). By rough count, only 2 of the last 7 PhD grads in theory have landed satisfactory employment. If I don't get a TT job this cycle, we can make that 2 of 8. Yet the professors at this school are probably still saying (as they said to me when they were recruiting me), "100% of our grads find jobs in the feld the first year after their PhD..." I guess I chose the wrong place!

4/3: Without taking any credit away from the schools that place graduates in some of the more desirable jobs, I'd like to point out that programs vary in size. Some graduate one PhD every few years while others hood three or four each spring (maybe more). Furthermore, that "100% of actively-seeking" statistic that is bandied about so often is sometimes a misleading representation of actual placement. What constitute an active search and a job in the field?

4/3: There does seem to be a flurry of FSU successes this year, but all of them are fairly removed from their degree and are coming from other jobs. I think FSU is a quality program and perhaps this "safety" school image made it a bit longer track for them. But it is hard to argue that they have put together a pretty decent alumni list especially with the gains this year. As far as different programs and success rates...I think some of it can be indicative of the program, but things happen too. There's similar discourse for undergraduates (i.e. what do you call gainful employment?). Some may choose to leave academia willingly--and I won't blame anyone who does because I've had the same thoughts myself. But perhaps we should try to tell programs that they shouldn't be misleading us with the promise of employment at the end (which is what "100% of actively-seeking" implies.) There's no program that has that rate.

4/3: Re: FSU - they were not even on my radar at all when I was applying to Master's or PhD programs (given that I am up north, and with the weather we have had as of late, I sorely regret not having FSU on my radar!) but when I traveled down there for a conference I was VERY impressed with the students and faculty. Their job placement rate has been excellent for the last several years as well. The only case I can recall in which an FSU student did not get a theory job was a case in which that student found an excellent job in another, semi-related field before having graduated (and it was an opportunity that really couldn't be refused). FSU definitely does not deserve the safety-school label.

4/4: I fully understand the original poster’s comment about consolidated prestige and job placement. Some aspects of it make sense (all of those schools are good, and I’d be inclined to think that anyone who’s made it through one of them is pretty strong), and some are definitely regrettable. But the comments about FSU raise some interesting points. First, it’s at least possible that the success of the Big Five or Six is due to the strength of the programs as much as it is about prestige. FSU seems to be simply a great program. (I have no affiliation with them, though I did visit once.) Second, those of us in a position to advise interested undergrads and Masters students where to apply should think very seriously about job placement. As others have indicated, many PhD applicants probably wouldn’t rank those five or six as the top in the field. I expect that the elite private schools (Ivy League, Stanford, Chicago) have a much better reputation among that crowd, and I know from experience within one of the public “Big Five” schools that we have had a very hard time recruiting students who have also been admitted to one of those elite schools. In addition to reputation, the amount of money and other immediate comforts that an Ivy League school can throw at you is more attractive than what some of the public “Big Fives” can offer. We need to advise people that those immediate attractions aren’t going to help at all if you’re unemployed in six years. Third, rather than simply speculating about prestige, it might be helpful to see if there’s anything the successful schools do especially well that can be emulated. Pedagogy is a big concern at FSU, for instance, but is under-emphasized at many of the elite private schools that have had trouble placing people. 

4/5: I couldn't agree more with the above poster. A graduate student's goals during his/her graduate education should be 1) the acquisition of skills (in both existing theories and in developing one's own theoretical frameworks) for conducting research and teaching and 2) forming a supportive professional network. The Big Theory Schools excel at both, because they have  deep benches of theorists, coupled with well-defined programs that lay out standards and still leave room for individual or cross-discipinary exploration. Theorists are also more greatly involved with pedagogy in a way that musicologists often are not, and the Big Theory Schools give graduate students ample opportunities to find their ways as teachers in a way that the Ivy League/elite universities simply do not (because they have told parents that professors, not graduate students, are teaching all the courses). The sample class is a key component of job interviews, particularly in theory, and this teaching experience puts the Big Theory School student at a substantial advantage over an Ivy League/elite-u student who has only had opportunities to TA, if that.

Getting a job in ANY industry involves networks, reputation, and visibility. I would imagine that close contact with a deep bench of theorists, and hence a greater network, will inevitably help the Big Theory School student over that of elite universities with fewer theorists (NB:  musicology also has a similar Big Handful, which include Harvard, Chicago, UC Berkeley, UCLA etc.). In the end, however, I think it is the acquisition of skill sets that determine success of theorists, and several schools with deep benches of theorists and strong networks are better equipped to do that than some schools with prestigious names but less dedicated networks.

4/5 (2): A poster above (4/1) made reference to the the "top" research jobs this year; these seven jobs went to graduates of: McGill, Michigan, CUNY, Toronto, CUNY, Yale, Cornell. Only two of the "Big Five" schools are represented in that list, and four of the seven went to graduates of other programs. Perhaps the notion of the Big Five dominating the market is overblown?

4/5 (3): I just wanted to pop out from the shadows to say that this is a hugely important and enlightening topic, and due to its sensitive nature I think it's one which is actually best aired in an anonymous forum. I'm grateful to the other posters so far for discussing it with a mixture of frankness and courtesy, I agree with much of what has been written, and I'll look forward to hearing from others about this. I will chime in to say that as a graduate of an Ivy progam (and this is mainly responding to 4/4's honest and well-taken post) everyone who wanted a job upon graduating got one, and for us that was the important metric. But these are small programs; a small but considerable number of people either drop out or fall through the cracks; and many people upon graduating decide they aren't willing to relocate. So some of these programs are only putting one person on the job market in earnest every +/-2 years--so of course they're under-represented. I'm only mentioning this to complicate the picture of Ivy programs as a gateway to unemployment.

I also would introduce another measure of program efficacy and influence: consider that this year's three big publication awards at SMT went to recent graduates of Columbia, McGill, and Harvard; looking further down the list reveals an extremely heterogeneous roster of PhD-granting institutions, from the "Big Five" to Ivy programs to smaller state schools. Clearly the discipline is finding the scholarship that all of these institutions are producing to be worthy of merit, and so one wonders what hidden costs lurk in guiding certain students away from certain programs solely based on job placement statistics.

4/6: The first 4/5 indicates that ivy league theorists do not get teaching experience.  While this is incorrect, the fact that the poster believes this could be a part of the problem for some graduate students on the market.

4/6 (2): I don't think that the first 4/5 was trying to say that Ivy League theorists never get teaching experience. It is difficult for them to get the same exact type of experience one might get if they were at one of the larger music schools (or frankly, public universities in general). From what I know, Yale has some great teaching experience opportunities. But I have friends at other "Ivys" that have far less teaching experience that I do going to two large music programs. Not all theory programs are made equal and that includes teaching opportunities. 

4/15:  This is part of a larger issue (probably several larger issues, actually) - the job market for music professors is not big enough to support the number of programs out there, preparing students for such jobs.  Name recognition goes a long way, and particularly with search committee members who may not know that, even though it's not a "big" schools, Northern Fencepost Big Tree State University actually has a really spectacular program.  (Sorry, I had to make up a school name there.)  Also, don't neglect the fact that most of the graduates of these "big five" schools are really, really good at what they do.

4/21: Not on the market, so I just saw this discussion and thought it was really interesting.  As a somewhat recent (non-Yale) Ivy grad, I also have to say that all of my grad student colleagues who wanted jobs have pretty much landed them, whether in theory or other fields.  As another poster pointed out, just because you don't see hoards of them showing up every year for accepted positions doesn't mean they are unemployed; it may just mean that there are smaller numbers of them, but they still get jobs when they want them.  I also should would note two further biases that haven't really come up:

-- While there are huge alumni networks for the "Big Five" at lots of schools, there are a disproportionate number of "elite" (Ivy/Chicago/etc.) grads on faculty at many top-tier research universities, not necessarily only in music theory.  And at top-tier research universities and small elite liberal arts schools without huge theory departments, it's probably more likely that search committees will not be composed of only (or even primarily) theory faculty, since there often simply aren't a lot of theorists at most schools.  So the "alumni network" effect can work differently at different kinds of schools.  (Frankly, I really don't think it should work that way, but it's a reality when search committees sift through hundreds of applications.)  I got a number of interviews at top schools my first years out of Ph.D., despite the fact that I wasn't from the "Big Five."

-- I actually didn't even bother applying for jobs at some other schools, because there is sometimes a slight *anti-*Ivy (or anti-"elite") bias at smaller colleges and universities that aren't "top tier" research schools.  The perception that Ivy grads have less teaching experience is real, and often there are impediments set up by private universities, e.g., the university wants to have a high stat for classes taught by people with terminal degrees, so grad students may not be allowed to be the official "instructor of record" on a class even if grad students at many Ivies end up doing most of the teaching.  (I have friends who got more teaching experience and had a lot more freedom designing their own class but were listed as a "TA" officially, compared to friends at other schools who were listed as instructor of record but were "supervised" and effectively given a daily detailed lesson plan they were required to follow.)  I also have a number of colleagues from grad school who told tales of interviews where they'd be confronted with awkward questions about whether an Ivy-league grad would be able to "understand" the students at a lesser university, or whether they'd be able to deal with the various student problems that arise from imperfect students.  (What those who haven't taught at Ivies don't realize is that Ivy League students can also be very problematic to teach, likely in different ways.  But they aren't all "angels" who show up eager to learn either.)

-- (5/1) There is a profound difference between presenting oneself in the best possible light and lying, whether you are a job seeker presenting your qualifications OR a professor recruiting students to a graduate program presenting the placement rate of the school. While the disparity between the number of PhDs awarded and the number of tenure-track jobs available in theory might not be as horrible as in musicology, say, it certainly exists. And it allows academic institutions to exploit highly-qualified VAPs / instructors / post-docs for a lower pay for longer periods of time. So the real solution is to have less PhDs awarded - that is - recruit fewer students to fewer programs. If needed, doctoral programs should  be shut down or shrunk rather than opened up or expanded. That is - as long as Academia doesn't decide that she would like to invest more in us, academics, rather than in her other priorities, whatever they might be. If institutions decide that they would like to treat us fairly and rely on tenure-track faculty rather than on temporary instructors of some sort, it might justify the amount of PhDs granted / doctoral students recruited. But this is not where things seem to be going. In conclusion - in order to sprinkle some much-needed positive energy in this rather grumpy online space: love and peace to all - may we all have a 2015-16-academic-year of curiosity, learning, teaching, scholarship, intellectual thrill, music-making, joyful and thoughtful listening, as well as fair employment.   

5/1(b) -- I don't agree with the previous poster on this: "the real solution is to have less PhDs awarded." No doubt that would, in fact, be the only way to ensure full employment for PhDs. But I don't actually think that would be a good thing. These jobs are so appealing that _inevitably_ there will be fewer positions than people who want them. People will have to be turned away sooner or later. The question is whether it's better to turn them away before they've entered a PhD program--when they're younger and more resilient, the argument would be--or whether it's better to turn them away afterward, when they've had a chance to figure out what they're really capable of academically. For my part, I've been on the market for two years and have not landed a TT position. I am starting to make concrete plans for what I'll do if I don't ever get one. And still, I am glad I had a chance to take a whack at it. I didn't really understand anything about research or academic writing until I was halfway through my dissertation. I'm glad that academia (and I) didn't have to decide whether I was in or out before that point.

5/2 Thanks very much for your comment on my post, "5/1(b)". 1) I think that we would both probably agree that people should have the freedom to do whatever they want (within reason) AND that they have to take responsibility for their lives, do their own research in advance, etc. Pursuing a PhD program might be valuable in itself, both for the student and for the discipline. But the alternative paths that one might have before and after pursuing a 5-to-8 year course of study in grad school + a few years floating around on 1-year positions might be very different. So I still think that we might as well have the cut-throat competition earlier on - in transitioning from college to grad school (or from a master's program to a PhD program). 2) I agree with you that the competitive nature of the game has its advantages. But even in a nearly-full-employment-for-PhDs kind of world - which may have been the reality 20 or 30 years ago - there would still be competition over "who got the Ivy League job" etc., as well as other motivators (publications, awards ...) So people would still want to excel in research and teaching. 3) Yes, we should be absolutely grateful for the opportunity that we have to pursue our passions and hone our research skills. Bottom line: All of the above still means that professors (and current grad students) should exercise caution in describing the reality to prospective doctoral students, so that they can make informed decisions about their future.

5/2(b) - I agree with 5/1(b) entirely. The answer is not cutting PhD programs or the number of students that graduate. What kind of message are we sending if we reduce the number of PhDs to match the number of openings? Are we telling our students that we're teaching that degrees = jobs? Because they don't and they shouldn't. This is a huge problem in the discourse surrounding higher education, especially from politicians. Getting a degree is about getting an education. Saying that it should promise a job at the end is only coddling a generation of entitled students who don't want to experience that the real world at times is unfair. I think that 5/1(b) has an immensely amazing attitude to the mediocre job market and we all could learn something from them.

5/2(c) Thank you as well, 5/2(b), for your comments on my posts. 1) If I was not completely in agreement with you on the value of learning and education for their own sake, for everyone (not only for academics), I wouldn't have pursued an academic career in the first place. I think that the question "what kind of message are we sending if we reduce the number of PhDs to match the number of openings"? is a very valid one. But why not ask the following question as well: "what kind of message is academia giving to academics by increasingly relying on cheap academic labor with no job security to do the teaching?" The behavior of Academia Inc. is certainly not an endorsement of our work as scholars and educators. And what kind of message is this sending to undergrads? "Dr. X is a brilliant scholar, but we're not letting them pursue their ground-breaking line of research, but rather giving them a 5-5 teaching load to serve you better and leave more money to hire another assitant dean to the assistant dean and open a fancier gym to help with student recruitment". 2) Sure, the world is unfair, but we shouldn't make it even less fair by putting more and more people on a course of study that is making them grow in a very particular direction and then let them "figure it out" and experience "the real world". And if we do so, they should be told the truth up front before they sign up for it. 3) As long as both political parties are funded by billionaires and everyone else remains largely silent about it, there will be no social change, and this includes the labor relations between academics and their employers. 

5/4 Have you been listening to Bernie Sanders?

5/4 No, but maybe I should listen to Bernie Sanders / volunteer for his campaign instead of posting stuff here :-) I think that I'm done, and I'm glad to have provoked some discussion and (who knows - maybe productive) controversy. All the best to everyone :-)

5/15 OP here: Thank you, everyone, for the conversation. After a quick tally of the 27 filled positions in the Theory Only section (at this point we're basically done with the TT jobs): The Big Five: 17. NOT the Big Five 10. Now, I've not gone back and tallied previous years, and I know nothing about statistics or gambling, but those numbers reinforce my initial perception, undoubtedly. So, I repeat: That kind of consolidation scares me: it's a kind of music theory 1%, leaves little room for graduates from other institutions, is not reflected in musicology/comp/ethno, and parallels broader social/economic/employment consolidations. I don't think it's good for music theory as a discipline. And I wonder what the Society is/could be doing about it.

5/16: Well, let's think about this a bit. When it comes to wealth inequality, the 1% are so called because we're dealing with literally 1 out of every 100 people, who collectively own 90% (or whatever it is) of the country's wealth. The problem is that it's so disproportionate. In music theory, the programs you're calling the "Big Five" aren't just the most prestigious, but they also produce the largest numbers of graduates. Each "Big Five" program graduates more PhDs per year than my current program has graduated so far this decade. So I imagine that well over half the job seekers are "Big Five" graduates. Let's say it's 60% (although I think it's higher). Now, to take the figures you've cited, 17/27 = 63%. So we have approximately 60% of PhDs getting 63% of the jobs. That's hardly a "music theory 1%." It doesn't seem disproportionate at all.

5/18(a): 60% of job seekers are "Big Five" graduates??? I find that very hard to believe. This could be easily corroborated by anyone who has recently served on a search committee. Given the number of PhD programs in North America, if a 60% figure is accurate, it only confirms a "1%" syndrome: 1% of PhD programs are producing 60% of job seekers.

5/18(b): I think there is a bit of hyperbole in 5/16's 60% number, but it's a bit disingenuous to say that the Big Five comprises 1% of PhD programs (suggesting a total number of 500 programs in the country granting PhD's in music theory.) Gary Karpinski came up with a list of 44 schools that offered PhD programs in music theory in North America back in 2010...I don't think the actual number can be much more than 50. I wouldn't be surprised though if the % of job seekers coming from any of those institutions is much closer to 60% than 1% though.

5/18(a) (again): Fair enough. I was stating things figuratively as well. (Notice the scare quotes in my post.) But let's do more math here. If there are 44 PhD programs, and each of the 39 non-Big Five programs graduated only one job seeker in a given year or period (39 total job seekers), EACH of the Big Five schools would have to graduate 12 job seekers in the same period to equate to 60% of all job seekers (12 x 5 = 60 total job seekers). That seems absurdly inaccurate to me, but perhaps my thinking is way off base. Either way you slice it, there is a case of severe inequality going on here, whether you place your measuring stick at the number of job seekers pool or at the number of successful job candidates pool. 

5/19: Former search committee member here.  As earlier contributors have emphasized, choosing a graduate program is an important decision.  However, this particular conversation has devolved a bit, becoming a little too speculative (and negative) to be helpful for job applicants.  Job applicants should focus their energies on building up their CV and bolstering their work as a scholar and teacher.  After serving as a search committee member, I can honestly say that an individual's graduate program was definitely NOT a deciding factor.  Decisions are based on an individual's publications, scholarship, and teaching experience.

I would also encourage worried job applicants to re-read a very helpful post below: see the post under "reached the end," by 4/29.

6/12: Earlier someone commented that the consolidation you see in theory is not present in composition.  This is totally incorrect.  There is one school and one faculty member at that institution that can guarantee a job for all of his composition graduates.  And there are a couple more places where maybe one a year can sometimes get a position.  Almost no composers get jobs.  The number is going down, down, down as the field is attacked from all sides by other disciplines and as the academy questions the relevance of what composers do.

6/13: The poster from 6/12 is pretty much correct although the one institution seems to change every couple of years. I would add that part of the reason for the consolidation in composition is that those of us who went to schools without performance programs have benefitted from the fact that our departments hire professional ensembles to perform our works. By the time we finish our degrees we have a list of performances that looks quite impressive. The unfortunate part of this is that many excellent composers get overlooked, not just for faculty positions, but for grants and prizes as well. 

6/14: The 6/12 poster nailed it. This is precisely why I decided not to pursue graduate degrees in composition, despite being accepted to a couple of schools. On the flipside, however, a number of composers may not be seeking academic jobs at all (though their prospects are, of course, even more tenuous unless they are coming out of a school like Juilliard with many connections), whereas a theorist really has no other choice but to seek an academic job if s/he wants to work in music theory in any capacity (alt-ac, not-exactly-theory jobs notwithstanding).


I am wondering how many regular visitors to this Wiki have reached the end of the "hiring season" without full employment (by full employment, I mean a TT job). It's a game of musical chairs out there where many, many supremely qualified, talented, and hard-working people get left out each year by no fault of our own. I'll start the tally:


Wouldn't it be more informative to know how many people didn't manage to get a full-time position with benefits, rather than how many people didn't end up in positions that are tenure-eligible?

Oh I don't know. My current position is "full time with benefits" but I still feel like I'm fighting it out in the trenches. I get paid less than $20K per year, I have no long term job security, I don't know what city I'll be living in next year, and I still have to go through the stress and terror of the job search at least one more year. I know I'm more fortunate than many, but this isn't what I went to school for 8 years to achieve. I guess we can all make our own judgement on this. If you feel you are underemployed in the field, add to the tally. If you have the job you want, pat yourself on the back and move on!

4/28: Well this is bleak.  Why this melancholy roll call?  A more informative version of this query is found above in the "years on the market" section.  Besides, it's not over 'till it's over.  VAP positions and emergency searches frequently show up in May.  They're often open for a very short window, so we need to be poised to strike at them when they show up (they may close before being posted to this Wiki, so check all your sources).  This thread strikes me as fatalistic and self-defeating.

4/28 (2): It is indeed very bleak but not necessarily self-defeating. 

(3) I'm not sure how to respond (this is the guy who started this section). It is over for me - I didn't get a TT job, though I did come close. So I'm back at the same place (a solid university in a large city) for the 3rd year in a row next year. Maybe some other folks will secure one-year jobs in the coming months, but I've already got that and it makes no sense to move for a different one-year job. Yes, things could be worse - I know a lot of great people aren't as fortunate as I am. But I think I addressed this above - working year-to-year, for extremely low pay, and no job security is not what I hoped would be awaiting me when I finished my PhD (at a top-5 public university program). Call it bleak if you want, but that's the terrain we face. I also think this question is very different from the one above. In fact, they are mutually exclusive. People who have gotten a TT job will not be adding a number here, and vice-versa.

(4) It *is* bleak, and anyone who says otherwise is part of the problem. I've labored for TWENTY YEARS only to be faced with no job in the field!

4/29: I'm a composer/theorist who spent three years in a couple of different adjunct/sabbatical positions before landing a TT.  I have two thoughts that might speak to this conversation - apologies if they seem blindingly obvious, or directly contradict your own experience.  But I hate the mystery that surrounds so much of this process, so, for what it's worth...

1) Throughout the application process, I applied aggressively even to jobs that weren't a perfect fit for me.  The description for the job I eventually landed didn't exactly match my previous experiences, and on top of that, there was also what I thought was a strong inside candidate.  So, it was a bit of struggle to see where the pay-off was in putting in the hours of research necessary to write the cover letter and prepare for the phone and campus interviews...but I saw it when I got the job.

2) Early in the job hunt, I was encouraged to think in terms of "doing a little better every year."  My first year on the market, I had four "nibbles" (phone interviews, request for more materials), the next year a few more, and the final year a few more, culminating in 5 campus interviews and an offer.  That made it easier (though never easy) to keep my spirits up, even as the process dragged seemingly on and on; and entering each job season, I was able to see where I'd had success and learn from what had worked the previous year. 

Secondary Education Gigs

I'm graduating this week and have recieved two relatively lucrative offers: one from a local middle school and another from a high school. I am hoping to get a job in higher ed. next year, and with my degree in hand and an article or two in press, I believe that I'll be a solid candidate for TTs. However, I've heard that a secondary ed. position is the "kiss of death" for academics in our field, even with my seven years of graduate-student teaching at the university level. How true is this? If I plan to apply for TTs this fall, should I pass up a full-time position with benefits for an adjunct or a sabbatical replacement that pays significantly less? (Thanks in advance for the help!)

5/20 (b): There are so many kisses of death.  It's hard to say which one will kill you first.  If you are considering middle school teaching and the like my guess is that it is already over.  There are just too many shiny objects in the field and so few positions.  If you are psychologically comfortable (i.e., your ego survives) doing middle school teaching and the like, that is what you should do.  Enjoy life and leave the endless competition and torture to those of us with bigger psychological problems.  

5/21:  I've heard this, and wouldn't dismiss it.  But it's not so simple...  It may practically nullify your application to an R1 University, but it may make you more attractive to a smaller liberal arts or general-ed position.  What should you do?  Well ... like the last poster said, I'd say (though less trenchantly) this has to do with your personal comfort and educational philosophy, as well as your personal and family goals.  Do you think you would feel bitter, or stuck if, ten years from now, you're still teaching in secondary ed?  You might be if you take a secondary job...  Does that terrify you, or would you be happy with this?  No one should underestimate the significance of the impact a secondary-ed music teacher can have on their students, or the rewards such a position can offer someone with the right skillset and disposition.  Is that you?  Of course, if you take an adjuct job, ten years from now, you might find yourself with ... an adjunct job!  Or you might find yourself an internal candidate to an attractive position.  The question is, do you want the TT job so badly that you're willing to risk everything?

6/23: Speaking only for myself, as the chair this year of a composition search at a public R1, my perception is that there was no such thing as a "kiss of death" in our committee's evaluation. We were acutely aware of the fact that positions in higher education have been especially scarce for the past several years, so we knew there would be worthwhile candidates employed in other ways. What we were most interested in, for applicants who weren't in a traditional academic position, was how those applicants remained actively engaged with the field. An applicant in a high school position who also effectively stopped writing/researching/performing/etc (as appropriate) wouldn't have made it very far. But one who was still actively engaged with the profession would absolutely get a closer look. (I do not know, nor would I presume to guess, how representative this is of search committees in general.)

7/31: This is a no-brainer. Take the teaching gig. If you're applying for a tenure-track position next year and you're worried that it will count against you to be teaching in a middle/high school, then leave it off your CV.

School-Specific Discussion[]

Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College[]

  • (4/3): I Just wanted to point out that this is one of the colleges that is on the "Universities to fear" with a pretty strong warning. Just giving a heads-up so that anyone who chooses to apply is aware of the situation.
  • (4/4): I happen to be pretty good friends with the person who is vacating this position at ABAC. I spoke with him often about the job. He did complain about being there, but it had far more to do with living in Tifton, GA than with the school itself. After 3 years there he landed a much better job at a quality school in the northeast that he's really thrilled to get. The job market it tight, folks, beggars can't be choosers. Having a job (even in Tifton) is WAY better than not having a job, unless you just want to say goodbye to academia entirely. I should also point out that I'm fairly certain that this is really a piano gig. My friend is a DMA in piano. Theory was definitely a sideline for him.

Baldwin Wallace[]

  • (11/3) Does anyone have any updates on their search process? 
  • (11/24) It's been almost two months since applications were due--does anyone have any updates?
  • (4/3) It's been about six months now--updates?  Offers?
  • (4/5) See above. 4 candidates have been invited to campus interviews, happening basically now. I'm fortunate enough to be one of them and I certainly hope they make a final decision within a couple of weeks!
  • (4/12) Ah!  Just saw those updates.  Unfortunately, I'm not one of the four.  Good luck at your interview!

Brigham Young University[]

  • Beware - a selected candidate in a previous search was rejected by administrators due to minor details of their personal life. This institution priviledges religious beliefs  over qualifications.
  • Well, duh...
  • If the situation referenced here is the one I'm familiar with, I can affirm that the candidates were not told the specific reasons for not being selected and any assumption on the part of a candidate as to those reasons would be speculative. That said, BYU does have unique, religiously based, requirements of their faculty that not many people would be willing or able to adhere to. (I am not a member of the faculty.)
  • (4/15) Congratulations to Brent on this job! This brings up a question I am curious about, however. He is tenured at his old job, so when one moves from a tenured position to one advertised as Assistant Prof, does one automatically lose tenure in that position and have to reapply at that school? Or does the school have to accept your tenure at your previous institution? I have seen a couple of these situations happen, mostly when someone relocates to be closer to their spouse, but am not sure if this is handled the same way at each institution.
  • (4/15) (2) I have never heard of an institution granting tenure that was earned at a previous institution, at least not at the Assistant rank. In my experience, it seems fairly standard in such cases for the incoming employee to be granted no more than a couple years toward tenure. Perhaps others have had different experiences.
  • (4/16) If a school makes an offer, the offer can include tenure. Although promotion and tenure are usually awarded at the same time, I have seen cases (albeit very few) when someone is awarded tenure but is not promoted. If advertised as Assistant and the hire was tenured elsewhere, the school can offer the position at Associate with tenure, Assistant with tenure, or Assistant without tenure but with a salary consistent with Associate rank. The new hire might have in the contract a shorter tenure clock, or decide to go up early.

Brown University[]

  • (1/31) Does anyone have any updates? 
  • (4/2) Rejection letter received stating that a second offer was made. Any info?

Catholic University of America[]

  • (4/3) Have there been any updates? I was given the impression that the short-list review would be swift ("7-10 days"). Perhaps the SC is instead looking at DMA conductors/performers who do not participate in this wiki. Has anyone heard about a campus interview?
  • (4/10) I was also told that this would be a quick search, but have not had an update since the phone interview. (x2)
  • (4/29) This search was in the "short list" stage (phone interviews, writing samples, performance videos) but went on hiatus for over a month. It was finally cancelled for "budgetary reasons." (A seach for a TT violinist saw the same fate.) To those qualified to answer: How does a position get to this stage without secured funds? Does this put it on the "Schools to Avoid" list for next year?
  • (4/29) (2) I have a TT gig at a small private college (less than half the size of CUA), and my college announced about a month ago that it would be making cuts and that even tenured folks are not safe (citing "extenuating financial circumstances" language in our bylaws). This announcement was made on the basis of low projections for next year's incoming class. If an incoming class is down, say, 30 from budgeted expectations, that is quite significant. Multiply the going private school per-year tuition rate times 30, then multiply that times 4 for four years of college. That's significant (seven digits). It could be that CUA, like many private colleges across the country, are dealing with low enrollment projections, and their admin announced a hiring freeze. In today's age, I'm not sure how "secure" any funding is. My two cents.

DePauw University[]

  • (3/15) I happen to know that there is no inside candidate here. The program is expanding, so they're adding another theory professor, not replacing someone. Seems like a good sign.
  • (4/19) Sabbatical replacement.

Eastman School of Music[]

  • (11/10) Does the 10-minute SMT interview constitute a round of "cuts" in this search process?  In other words, if I wasn't invited to one of those short interviews, should I cross this position off my list?
  • (01/19) Yes.

Florida State University

  • 10/23 Wow, that was fast. I'm mostly just curious--was there any intermediate stage (phone interview, etc.) before moving right to campus interviews?
  • 10/29 Just a fast search. *Nothing* pro forma about this one; very, very legitimate.

Georgia State University[]

  • (2/22) This job just popped up. Looks like they have a VAP (Kyle Jenkins) with a PhD from Arizona U. Does anyone know if he's an "inside" or "very strong" candidate to keep the job at Georgia State? Or perhaps is Dr. Jenkins moving on elsewhere? I will send an app in either way, but it can be good to know these things. Also, if anyone knows how to edit this entry so that it's indented with the little "bullet" point, feel free. I also somehow managed to change the font in Illinois State, below. Again, feel free to fix this...
  • (2/22) (2) Done.

Gordon College[]

  • (2/17) The indication above that a campus interview was scheduled on 2/15 is curious since video interviews took place on 2/16. Is the 2/15 date accurate?
  • (3/2) Is the March interview for a pianist or a composer? Original listing was for either/or.

Illinois State University[]

  • 2/1: I see above that there were campus interviews, but yesterday this job was apparently re-listed on Inside Higher Ed.  However, the deadline of November 2014 still remains.  Does anyone know whether they are re-opening this search, or is that just some mistake on the part of Inside Higer Ed?
  • 2/2: Called them and was told that there is no job opening.
  • Looks like the winner teaches at Illinois State as an adjunct.  (chalk up another one to the VAP list)
  • (Re: "the VAP list") Whenever an adjunct faculty member is hired to a TT position at an instituion where they already work, I tend to see that as an equitable improvement in the academy at large. Whenver adjuncts are passed over and taken for granted when there is an actual opportunity to promote them, I see that as symptomatic of the further decline of the academy. Just saying.
  • As one who knows the school a little bit, I am happy that Roy got the gig. He is a grad from that school and has worked as an instructor for a number of years (passed up on the last TT search). I think it is a win overall. Speaking also as one who has had a series of one year positions before landing a TT job, sometimes it just takes time. So those of you who are still on the hunt, keep at it. Eventually the right fit/situation will come along.
  • 3/10: Re: "Eventually the right fit/situation will come along." That may be true, if one is not counting on landing an academic position. The field, ladies and gentlemen, has been and continues to be steadily shrinking, both in terms of TT opportunities, and any other form of teaching opportunities. Whether one considers this a negative or positive development, it is a fact. Still, I do wish all job seekers good fortune in their efforts.
  • 3/10 (2): I don't doubt that the field is shrinking, but I was just saying to myself that there seemed to be MORE openings this year than in recent past years. There are currently 83 positions listed on this page (if I counted correctly). Last year's page lists 87 total. And surely a few more will open between now and semester's end.

James Madison University[]

  • 10/13 There might be an inside candidate here.  One of the theory instructors was ABD, graduating this Fall.  (John Peterson)  No guarantees on anything, just a heads up.
  • (10/19) I don't understand the intent of this comment. First of all, it is conjecture, whether well-founded or not. Second, should prospective applicants NOT apply because there might be an inside candidate? Of course, we all want as much information as possible, but I'm not sure how helpful this is.
  • (10/21) I appreciate the 10/13 comment. I think the 10/19 comment is much more presumptuous. As for the topic of inside candidates, which is labored every year on this wiki, ...we shall see who the new hire at JMU is in due course.
  • (10/21 [2]) I think it's more than fair for applicants to know of an inside candidate. My first year on the market, I was naive enough not even to suspect that I'd be invited for a pro forma interview while an insider waited in the wings for the gig. Don't get me wrong: the "insiders" were highly qualified and did nothing untoward; they deserved the jobs. Still, I went in with inflated hopes and they were dashed accordingly; I wish I'd known better.
  • (11/10)  I agree, it is nice to know if there is a current part-time (or NTT, or VAP, or whatever) faculty member in the running, but it doesn't affect whether or not anyone else should apply.  There is no guarantee that the "inside candidate" is a shoe-in for the job, or even wants the job, or won't have already accepted a job at another school by the time JMU makes a decision.  Too many variables to throw in the towel before the application deadline.


  • I heard rumors from different sources about this job, according to which the job is not so "technology-based" as it looks on the job description. It is the Theater Arts Department, not Media Lab, so I was also wondering what kind of tech person they are looking for. Is there anyone willing to share some details about this job? 
  • It's in the Music and Theater Arts department - I think it is similar to a music technology job at an undergraduate college and less like a Media Lab kind of research gig.
  • Wondering if the person who posted about the short list can clarify: have the finalists for the short list already been contacted?
  • I don't know. The language of the communication was as follows: "The search committee has met and read over 130 impressive applications and selected a small number for further review. At this time, yours is not one of the applications under active consideration. The committee may expand the active list at a later date and in that case may want to contact you for further information."
  • Thanks. I think it is the long-short list, as the further materials were not due until 12/22. Sorry to hear you didn't make it.
  • Campus visit scheduled

Murray State University[]

  • (2/27) Any movement here? 
  • (2/28) Skype interviews were held last month. They have most likely moved on to campus interviews by now, but I personally have not heard anything since January.

Parkland College[]

  • (1/31) Has anyone heard anything about the music tt job there?  It closed on January 19th.
  • (2/10) Skype interviews scheduled
  • (3/4) Campus interviews scheduled
  • (3/25) Rejection letter received. So they've chosen someone.

San Diego State University

(7/27) I've decided to have a healthy sense of humor about the job search this coming year. To that end, have y'all seen the recent job posting for SDSU (it's on MTO)? The qualifications listed are freaking hilarious. They mentioned pretty much everything a human being could possibly do - or be - but somehow they forgot to state that "x-ray vision and the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound are preferred..."

(7/28) Yes, I saw that too and crossed them off my list. I'm only speculating, but this usually means they know who they are going to hire and have taylored the posting to his/her qualifications. 

(7/28b) Honestly, I don't seen anything unusual in this posting. It's strictly theory, not theory and three other things like so many other vacancies these days. They don't appear to have any theorists on staff at SDSU and the way I read the posting, they simply want somebody with the experience to build and lead that curricullum. That said, they are requesting an awful lot of stuff up front: teaching materials including 2-3 video clips, plus a writing sample. These days a school usually waits for the second round to ask for all of that.

7/29 Welcome to the real world.

7/29 (2) The idea that a search "knows who they'll hire" sounds more like idle speculation and cynicism than any actionable advice.  This may happen sometimes, but less frequently than some may think.  And it's really hard for a search committee to get away with; TT searches are approved from on high, and the listing results from some consensus between the faculty and the administration.  It's surprisingly difficult for all the parties involved to stack the deck in favor of one hypothetical candidate.  I too don't find this job posting unusual; they're looking for a straight theorist with a good amount pedagogy and service under her/his belt.  More of a mid-career posting than for an emerging scholar or a composer/theorist.  In any case, this is a search for 2016-17.  Maybe it's time for this page to be created, as I believe at least three postings have shown up already, and we should move this conversation there.

Stetson University

  • (10/17) Does anyone have any updates on their search process? 
  • (10/18) Skype interviews scheduled
  • (1/16) Campus interviews scheduled

Stevens Institute of Technology[]

  • (2/27) Anyone hear back after phone interviews?
  • (3/3) Nothing as of yet.

University of Georgia

  • (11/11) Note from the search committee chair: UGA has two open faculty positions in composition. One position will be in composition, including electro-acoustic composition; the other will be in composition and theory. One position will hire at the rank of assistant professor (tenure-track) and the other on a one-year (renwable) contract as Limited Term Asisstant Professor (not tenure-track). There is no assumed correspondence between the areas of specialization and the ranks. The online application allows applicants to indicate whether they wish to be conisdered for the temporary position in addition to the tenure-track position. Applicants wishing to use a credentialing service (such as Interfolio) for their references should please direct materials to <>.
  • 12/12: Is it safe to assume that the fields for references on the application form should be left blank if the letters will be arriving via email from Interfolio and a list of additional references has been uploaded as a pdf?
  • 12/12 (2): The form won't let you leave those fields blank AFAIK. I put the Interfolio email links in the reference field and cancelled the delivery request.
  • 12/13: I left them blank and it seemed to go through, that is, I didn't receive an error message and received an email letting me know that my application had been submitted.
  • 12/13 (from the search committee chair): The administrator for the search is monitoring how letters come in. If you send them via Interfolio, then your references won't be contacted to send them via the site. If you have any problems with the system, please contact <>.
  • 1/17 Anyone heard of any movement here?
  • 1/20 additional materials requested

University of Massachusetts Amherst[]

  • Does anyone know who they interviewed?
  • This place really seems to be growing in both music theory and musicology.
  • Lots of things grow.
  • Any updates here?

University of Massachusetts Lowell[]

  • This suspiciously looks like a job posting for an internal candidate. Anyone has more information about this?

University of Michigan[]

  • (11/4) Any updates to report on their search?
  • (11/4 [2]) Given that they’re holding interviews at AMS/SMT, I wouldn't expect to hear anything until after the conference.
  • (1/26) Any updates on this one? For that matter, whose position is this one replacing?
  • (1/26) They are holding campus inteviews this week (sorry..). They are replacing Alan Gosman who left for the University of Arkansas.
  • (4/4) Dumb question on my part; I should've known that, having talked to Alan at some length at SMT. Great guy and sorry to see him go. Do we know whom Rene Rusch is replacing? I was not aware that she was coming back, but she will be a wonderful addition, and she knows the curriculum inside and out since she did her PhD there.
  • (4/5) Ostenisbly one of the positions was the one held by Andrew Mead when he left for Indiana. It seems odd that it looked like one position and ended up hiring two. Perhaps another line of funding opened during the original search? I'm not sure we'll ever know the situation why two people were hired instead of just one, but in the scheme of things I think it's a good sign. I'm happy for Rene Rusch to end up back at Michigan. A great hire and a fantastic scholar. Nathan Martin is also quite the upcoming scholar himself...really two great hires. As a previous poster mentioned, UM has a very diverse faculty and they are definitely retaining that reputation with these hires.

University of South Florida[]

  • 12/21: Just saw the discussion on the musicology wiki about some apparent shenanigans at this school. In case the people watching this site know anything more than what's been reported there (at least two recent, strange tenure denials), can anyone else comment?
  • 12/23: Yes, a theorist was denied tenure.
  • 12/23 (b): And exactly what does this have to do with the current search?  Schools may hire anyone for any reason, and tenure is not guaranteed.  The University of South Florida owes you no explanation on the denial of tenure or hiring process of any of its current, former, or future faculty.  
  • 12/23 (c): I might argue that a state-funded university owes tax-payers an explanation, but not on this platform.... More directly, we're all academics, when one of us is denied tenure it affects all of us, is bad for the field of music theory speficially. And no, schools may not hire anyone for any reason, hence, you know, like, searches, deans, affirmative action committees, etc. (x2)
  • 12/25: A visit to the musicology wiki suggests the 12/23 (b) comment is from the same USF adminstrator.
  • 12/29: Anyone who has followed the department at USF for the past 5-10 years knows that the place is a train wreck. 
  • 12/30: The jobs wiki isn't here to create a "black list" of bad departments. Through the course of this search people will be interviewed and one will eventually be hired, and this kind of gossip really does a disservice to whomever that eventually successful candidate is. I also think this  does a disservice to the folks who were recently denied tenure who, if nothing else, provide evidence that this department has a history of making good hires. This kind of "discussion" won't reverse their tenure decisions and I really don't see where it actually provides anything to the academic music profession either.
  • 12/31: I don't see how anyone is creating even a metaphorical blacklist of departments--who of us has that power? "Gossip" implies we are discussing this issue not just through word-of-mouth but in bad faith; again I don't think we are. I believe that hiring people who do not eventually succeed in tenure bids shows at the least a faulty process, and, more importantly, speaks to larger concerns within academic hiring practices I'd assumed we all shared. Lastly, as with the Musicology Jobs Wiki, I'm very concerned with the censorious impulses of some of these comments. This is an open forum, we are discussing issues of concern, democratically, and no one is saying anything slanderous.
  • 01/19: I agree completely that the purpose of this wiki (as with any such forum) is to provide education through the sharing of information and in discussion among the participants, and this sharing should be broadly and not narrowly embraced. The tenure process can be laden with traps for the unwary, so it is best for one entering the field to keep one's eyes wide open. Perhaps the environment at any one particular institution is less hospitable to new faculty, perhaps not. Much can depend, of course, on the particular personalities involved, which may change from year to year. That being acknowledged, it is equally true that every institution and department self-creates its own "culture" of sorts, and it would be foolish not to enter into that culture with every piece of possible information about it at one's disposal, not to prejudge the institution, but for self-preservation, if necessary.
  • 03/27: So if Ciro took the Ohio University job, and [someone else] (name removed by named person—a little sensitivity please, as this wasn't quite public knowledge) was denied tenure, might there be TWO openings at USF now? What's going on with this one?

University of Southern Illinois Carbondale[]

  • (11/11) The link has changed to an Assistant Professor of Chinese position... Anyone have the correct link?
  • (11/12) Looks like a music theory job to me.  Maybe they fixed the link in the time since you last checked?

Williams College

  • (9/13) To the 9/9 poster, yes there was a search and hire for VAP last year, but that doesn't mean there will be an inside candidate. Sometimes VAPs don't get past the first round, they aren't interested in staying, and/or they get an offer elsewhere. Also, a top choice in a VAP search may have accepted a VAP or TT position elsewhere, so they might be the top choice for the TT search the next year. Besides, candidates for a TT search are typically much stronger than the candidates for a VAP position.
  • The current VAP at Williams is pretty impressive, however, having just returned from a year at the American Academy in Rome and being a current Guggenheim fellow.  Still, stranger things have happened...
  • Yes, the issue of inside candidates is a tough one. Everybody says that inside candidates don't always have an advantage, but it's hard to believe that when you see them getting the job again and again. Last year it seemed as if every inside candidate got the job (Tufts, NYU, UNC-Greensboro, UT-San Antonio, UNT, Florida Gulf Coast, ...). But I suppose the best we can do as job seekers is to try not to think about inside candidates and apply the same as we would anyway.
  • (9/16) Word on the street has been that Williams would like to keep their VAP and that the VAP would accept if an offer is made. This isn't to say that there is no point in applying, situations often change, but the deck seems to be stacked against outside candidates in this case. Which brings about the possibility of a perhaps more productive question: Has the VAP become a sort of audition for TT? 
  • (9/16) (2) Situations do change.  And unless "word on the street" comes directly from a majority of search committee members at Williams, I'm not sure how much it means.  Search committees can be fickle, candidates can be too if they get offers elsewhere.  I've seen both happen.  I personally know an "inside candidate" a few years back who appeared to be qualified and well-loved by almost everyone in the department (and students too!), was warmly encouraged to apply by faculty members on and off the search the committee, and didn't even get an interview.  Departmental and administrative politics can also interfere with hiring what appears to be an "obvious" inside candidate.
  • (11/10) To 9/16 (1), I wouldn't go so far as to call a VAP position a TT audition, at least not in all cases.  In many situations, a VAP position is opened when funding for a TT search is not available. For example, if a faculty member announces her intent to leave late in the academic year, it is likely that the Provost will approve a one-year position rather than a full TT search.  This could be for any number of reasons, but the two I've heard most frequently are (1) to save money, and (2) to guarantee a "better crop of candidates" next year (the assumption here is that, if you start to advertise a search in March or April, all the "best" candidates will have been hired.  Of course, this isn't necessarily the case, but it is not an uncommon belief.).  
  • Anything is possible.  However, many VAPs do get hired for the TT gig.  That said, last year Williams hired two people instead of one, and one was not brought in for an interview.  So yes, anything is possible.
  • (4/13) At the risk of stating the obvious, I am taking note of how this worked out.  I can think of three searches in which I have mentally gone through this conversation, "Oh this is so-and-so's job..." and not applied.  And in each case, the job went to someone else.  There are too many variables to write any of these postings off, and it just isn't productive to turn job-search fatigue into cynicism and speculation.
  • (4/15) It never hurts to apply - ya gotta be in it to win it, as they say. A brief tale: once upon a time, I applied for an Assistant TT position even though I was already a tenured Associate, and the search committee successfully made the case to make two hires out of the same pool, so they hired someone in as an Assistant TT plus me as an Associate TT, a position that had never been advertised. The variables in these situations are infinite; the only sure thing is if a person doesn't apply, no job offer will be forthcoming.
  • ===Missouri Western State University===
  • Does anyone know what happened with this job? They were searching for a dept chair/theorist...